Drinking Water: Extreme Weather Events Threaten Quality, Says Report

The greatest risks to water quality come from cumulative impacts of extreme weather events that happen sequentially, like a drought followed by a wildfire followed by a flood, says joint Australian-US study. As climate change likely increases the frequency of extreme weather events, resilience must be built into the management of watersheds and water treatment systems for recovery to happen. [Sunday Morning Herald]

Report: Society's Water Safety Net Is Fraying

A new National Research Council report examines possible "tipping points" that might occur if the rate of groundwater pumping rapidly increases. As surface water-scarce regions get drier amidst climate change, early warning water and drought monitoring systems could be necessary to protect precious resources. [Circle of Blue]

China's Water Problems Are Even Worse Than You Think: Report

A study finds that despite China's extraordinary water infrastructure projects, like the newly opened South-North Water Transfer Project canal, water resources are still dwindling. Steep demand is taxing inadequate water supplies, which requires demand-side solutions like reducing leaks, improving water-use efficiency and a shift toward less water-intensive goods and industries. [Wall Street Journal]

Oceana Report Touts Benefits of Offshore Winds vs. Drilling

A report issued by Oceana concludes the development of wind turbines off Virginia's coast would create thousands of jobs. Oceana said the economic analysis found that wind development would produce twice the number of jobs and energy as oil and gas drilling. [AP, Washington Post]

New Report Offers Framework to Analyze Effects of Potential Changes to the US Food System

To help policymakers and others grasp the wider impacts of their decisions on the US food system, the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council released a framework for assessing the health, environmental, social and economic effects of changes to the system. The report includes recommended decision-making steps and examples of the process in use. [Medical Press]

EPA Report Finds Pesticide Poses Risk to Workers, Spurs Calls for Ban

The insecticide chlorpyrifos used widely on corn and other US crops threatens the health of workers and can contaminate drinking water, according to the EPA. Although the chemical was banned from household use over a decade ago, exposure can still occur near farms. The EPA will likely enhance regulation of the toxin, but activists say it's time for a ban. [Environmental Health News]

The Beef with McDonald's Sustainable Beef

McDonalds plans to offer "verified sustainable beef" in some of its burgers next year, but sustainability experts are wary. The mega-chain and other beef stakeholders recently published a set of sustainable beef principles and criteria as a first step toward greening their meat. Unfortunately, the document is worrisomely vague, and omits major issues like antibiotic abuse, feedlot practices and workers' rights. Buyers beware. [The Guardian]

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